I’m coming right down to the deadline for submitting my article to Jean Tinder and Marc Ritter for the September issue. However, I have good reason this time. The CC staff, Linda and I are busy getting ready for the upcoming Time of the Merlin Online event.
There is a myriad of details that go into producing a 3-day event like this. The objective is to make it look easy and graceful the moment we go live online on September 10, but it’s actually the attention to details that makes it look easy. The obvious details are setting up the cameras, lights and microphones, but that’s just the small tip of the big iceberg. There are stage sets, props, schedules, crews and catering. There is the whole technology side, managed by Jorge Merino and his technical team, making sure we have the server capacity to handle three days of streaming. The Customer Service staff needs to be ready to handle extra requests due to the large volume of viewers. The production staff has to set up, rehearse and manage a long list of production cues. Artwork needs to be prepared, last minute changes have to be taken into account, and all electronic equipment must be double-checked before we go on the air. Then we say a prayer that the Internet connection stays up. It’s one of the few things we don’t control because, like everyone else, we rely on an outside Internet Service Provider.
Time of the Merlin was originally scheduled to be held in Bled, Slovenia with a live audience of 500 Shaumbra. In late May we cancelled the live event due to the never-ending COVID situation. For the second year in a row we are doing this annual event online, which meant we had to totally revamp the schedule. While putting together the final lineup earlier this summer, we took a hard look at the overall energy behind the online event. We already had six entities (Adamus, Kuthumi, FM, Merlin, St. Germain, and a mystery entity that turned out to be Mark Twain.) But what about the other 6 sessions? What content would directly address Shaumbra? At some of our big annual gatherings in years past we’ve brought in “outside” speakers, but eventually came to realize that Shaumbra wants to hear from Shaumbra. This year we have a great line-up of Shaumbra-only presentations. Check the schedule here to see what’s in store.
Now to the point of my article:
We came up with the idea of doing interviews with Shaumbra to show at the Time of the Merlin Online event. One of the great values of Crimson Circle is providing a safe space for Shaumbra to share their stories, so other Shaumbra will realize they’re not crazy and they’re not alone. The interviews would also be a way of recording Shaumbra stories for the ones that come next. It’s never lost on me that one of the biggest roles of Crimson Circle is to document the history of the Shaumbra journey for the benefit of future generations.
One thing led to another, and within weeks we were recording the interviews at our Colorado studio. Linda coordinated all of the interviews, and served as the off-camera interviewer, prompting the interviewee with a few questions to get them talking, but allowing plenty of space for them to share openly and without limitations. Peter Orlando, Marc Ritter and Gaelon Tinder handled the lighting, cameras, recording equipment and staging. Jean Tinder prepared the interviewees before they got in front of the cameras, helping to calm their nerves and feel safe. The crew did 18 interviews in three full-day sessions.
Earlier this week I saw the first rough-cut version. I wasn’t there during the filming so I didn’t have any expectations. Sometimes these projects don’t work as well as I’d like, and other times something magical takes place on screen. You never really know what you have until you sit down and watch the first draft. Then we usually come up with a long list of changes, revisions and tweaks before Peter goes back to the editing suite.
I clicked on the link Peter sent me for viewing the first cut. It was early in the morning so I sat back with my cup of coffee to see want we had. I reminded myself that the first draft doesn’t have any whistles or bells like smooth transitions, an introduction, art and graphics, music, titles, etc. The lighting and audio haven’t been adjusted, and sometimes there are jumps or lags between the scenes. We didn’t even have a name for this production other than the working title, “Shaumbra Interviews.” With pen in hand and notepad at the ready to write down my critic’s notes, I hit the play button.
I never took a single note as I watched the next 70 minutes of rough-cut footage. I was totally captivated by what I was seeing on the screen. My heart swelled, my head spun and I got tingles from the top of my head down to my toes. It wasn’t how we filmed it, it was what we filmed. The spirit of Shaumbra had been captured in a way I had never seen before.
It was an OMG moment. This was the essence of the Shaumbra journey, with all of the heartbreaks and breakthroughs, now distilled in these interviews. I was watching this almost 22 years to the exact date from the official beginning of Crimson Circle on August 21, 1999. It was a very surreal moment as 22 years of memories, from our innocent beginnings to realizing our passion, came flooding through the screen. As each of the interviewees shared their stories I could feel the voice of thousands of Shaumbra around the world speaking, not just the person on camera.
After viewing the entire first draft I only wrote down three words: Authentic. Courageous. Essence. The interviewees were incredibly authentic. There was no makyo or chest-pounding. Anyone who watches this will feel the deep and raw level of credibility of each Shaumbra interviewee. Many of the interviewees talked about trust as their biggest challenge and greatest asset. I could feel the tremendous courage it took for them to come to that place of inner trust and allowing. And finally, the energy that comes through these interviews is the essence of Shaumbra. Even beyond the words they speak, there is an imbedded energy that radiates the pure essence of all of us. It’s like a background music that isn’t heard by the ears but is felt by the heart and soul.
Peter sent a link for the rough draft to all staff members on the Creative Review Team. We met the next day on a Zoom call. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the other five reviewers had nearly the same reaction. They used words like mesmerizing, jaw-dropping, poignant, captivating, touching, encompassing and profound to describe their reactions. We had been concerned that this type of video could get boring after 20 – 25 minutes. There had been some discussion about limiting the entire video to 30 minutes or less including intro, outro, credits and music, but everyone agreed there was never a boring moment.
Then it came time to create a title. That’s a tough task because how do you distill all of this incredible information and energy into just a few words? We did some creative brainstorming via email, passing back and forth names and suggestions. I love working with the CC Creative Team because there’s no negative criticism and no ‘prima donnas.’ We use the ideas and suggestions to build, rather than tear down.
The consensus was that the interviewees shared the common story of the incredible inner trust it takes to walk the path from awakening to Realization. What was the driving force behind this deep level of trust? We all agreed: It takes tremendous courage. Divine Courage. The title for the film was born – DIVINE COURAGE: The Journey to Freedom. We added some graphic elements and finalized the logo within a few days. Divine Courage was birthed and named.
We’ll air Divine Courage on Day 3 (Sunday, September 12) of the upcoming Time of the Merlin Online event, but that’s just the start. We’ll do more Shaumbra interviews, and by next summer we’ll have Version 2 ready to go, edited with the new ones in mind. What we have right now is ideal for current Shaumbra, while Version 2 will open it to people coming into the post-Awakening stage of their journey.
Perhaps you can feel my excitement and passion? After 22 years of prepping, releasing and allowing, we’re now doing what we came here to do. It’s time to share our stories for the next wave of humans coming into their mastery, and time to radiate our essence, whether on a park bench or in a film. Twenty-two years might seem like a long time, but it’s just a flash in the grand scheme of things. Thank you, fellow Shaumbra, for agreeing to be on the planet at this epic time in human history.